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Friday, April 30, 2010

Jars!

We are preparing for a much needed yard sale. Much of the proceeds will go to our daughter's post-graduate trip to Europe. We live in a home that was built in 1927, and has been inhabited by my family members since 1946. We've been here nearly 27 years. Even after all these years, I still find stuff I don't expect. I knew there were some quart jars in our basement, but I didn't know how many, and I didn't realize there were so many dozens of jelly jars. I've been buying jars! Aren't these pretty? And they are just as I found them, still covered in dust.



As I was sorting the jars, I found this Parade magazine from the Sacramento Bee, dated June 21, 1959. What a hoot! From the looks of the adds in this publication, I think our grandmas' diets were not as pure as we'd like to imagine. I can remember my Grandma Betty making holiday spuds from a box, and frozen peas in cream sauce from the freezer section. At 91, she still brings her famous orange-cool whip jello salad to family occasions.









Friday, April 23, 2010

Lemon, Pineapple and Rosemary Marmalade







I created this blog so I could share recipes like this one. The basic structure of the recipe comes from Food In Jars Three Citrus Marmalade. One of the things I love about canning is that you can use a recipe structure and build your own flavors into it. Here I used seven lemons I had to use up, a can of crushed pineapple (I told you I'm not a purist!), and some rosemary from my garden. I have recently tried adding mint and ginger to different marmalade recipes and was disappointed that the herb's flavor was not more noticeable. This time I added quite a bit, and the results are yummy!
I don't have much experience in creating a blog. This one has been a bit of a challenge. I have the promise of some technical help, and I will be using it! I felt some urgency to get this posted because I really want to participate in the Tigress in Jam Can Jam. This month's theme ingredient is herbs. When I first started canning, the theme was citrus. Can you imagine my joy as I searched for marmalade recipes and came upon the Can Jam wrap up for citrus? So much goodness! Thanks to all of you who inspired me to both can and blog!

Lemon, Pineapple and Rosemary Marmalade
7 lemons
1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple in juice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
6 cups sugar
Wash and dry the fruit and strip away the zest. I have a tool that cuts the zest into strips while you peel. If you don't have such a tool, peel the zest in a thin layer and cut into strips.

Place the zest into a medium saucepan with 6 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the zest, reserving the liquid.
While the zest is simmering, cut the fruit into supremes. Do this by cutting away the pith, then cutting the segments from between the membranes. Be sure to remove all the seeds.

Once the zest is drained, in a large stainless steel or enameled pot, combine the zest, lemon segments, pineapple with juice, rosemary, 4 cups of the zest liquid and 6 cups of sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Allow to boil vigorously until the mixture reaches 220 degrees. This will take 30 to 40 minutes. Once it hits 220, you can test the consistency by placing some saucers in the freezer and placing a dab of the marmalade on the chilled saucer. If it wrinkles when you push it, you are there! I have found that my thermometer reads 222 when I reach the consistency that I want.

While the marmalade is coming up to temp, wash and sterilize your jars, prepare lids and start heating your water bath. I like to sterilize my jars in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes. This way my jars are ready for several batches and will wait for me.

Remove the marmalade from the heat and let stand 1 minute, then stir to distribute all the tasty bits. Fill prepared jars, wipe rims and apply lids and screw rings. Place in boiling water bath and allow to process for 5 minutes from the time the water starts to boil.

When time is up, gently lift the jars and set on a towel to cool. When cool to the touch, check the seal, wipe away any residual moisture and label. Some marmalade will take a couple of weeks to set. Enjoy!

Makes 6 half-pints.

Welcome

My name is Susan and I live in beautiful Sacramento, CA. I've been wanting to share my food adventures for some time. My husband, Dwayne, and I have been working on eating better and losing weight. As of this date, between the two of us, we've lost the equivalent of a largish child. I'm not a purist of any sort. I like food. A lot. My old food hobby was baking. I knew I had to find some challenge that didn't involve producing large amounts of buttery desserts. My new technical challenge is canning. I've been making jam for years, but was inspired by Food In Jars, which introduced me to the virtual community of food preservationists. Canning is perfect for me right now. I can create wonderful things that are designed to be eaten in small quantities over time. I live in a city that is a little bit urban and a whole lot of agriculture. I can drive 30 minutes in any direction and find growers selling their produce. I'm entering into my second year of gardening, which has been a longer learning curve than canning. Let's just say, I don't think I'll have enough of my own produce to can a batch of anything any time soon. Although, I have been using my herbs to add some flavor. Even as I blog, I'm waiting for grapefruit, pineapple and rosemary marmalade to come up to temp.

I hope to share what I eat, what I prepare well, and even what I flub. We can all learn together.